Diets at TCWR

What do our animals eat at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge? Well most of our animals are carnivores which means they […]

What do our animals eat at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge? Well most of our animals are carnivores which means they eat meat. What kind of meat do you ask? We get 300,000 pounds of meat from Tyson as a donation, which helps us out a lot. The meat that Tyson donates is mainly meat we can buy at the store, such as chicken breasts, chicken legs, chicken wings, chicken thighs, half chicken, or whole chicken. We also get other donations as well to help feed all the animals we have at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, such as get cow donations. If we have local farmers whose cattle pass away within 48 hours we are able to take the meat and use that for our animals. We also have rabbits that are donated to us. Currently, we have different meat days for our meat eaters here. One day it will be beef, the next day it will be chicken, and then it will be rabbits. We also have Brightwater, a culinary college, donate their food they no longer can use to us as well.  

Feeding carnivorous animals sound easy, right? Just feed them meat and it will be great! However, some of our animals are on specialized diets or can’t eat bones. One of the specialized diets is what we call Triple A, which is a whole cow ground up into one. We also use what they call meat balls to give our animals their medication if needed. We do have some animals whose front canines have been sawed down in their previous facility to make them “safer”. This makes them a little harder to chew through the bones, meaning some animals will not be able to eat meat with bones.


However, a few of our animals don’t eat just meat. We have 8 bears at our facility. Bears are omnivores, which means 90% of their diet is produce/nuts and 10% is meat. We do get donations of produce to help feed the bears. One thing in the summer/fall time we do with our bears is we scavenge feed them. Animal Care will put extra produce in their grassy area of their habitat in order for them to have the ability to scavenge like bears do in the wild. 



How much will a carnivore at Turpentine Creek eat? It depends on how much they weigh. For our larger animals like lions and tigers, they can get anywhere from 6lbs to 15lbs of meat a day. All of our animals get fed once a day. In order to get them the nutrients they would have in the wild, we give them nutrients on their food and mix it to marinate. 


How can you help? We can take most donations for food for our animals as long as it hasn’t spoiled or things they can not eat. You can also donate money to help feed them. If you donate $20, it can potentially feed one animal for a day!

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